The winter season is getting off to a good start, thanks to a weather system moving across the Alps. Here’s the latest snow report from the Ski Club.
Conditions and weather within the Alps have been very promising this week, with the days previous to November 30 bringing snow over the northern Alpine ridge, once again benefitting Austria the most as well as those in central Switzerland. The end of this week and the incoming weekend shows this weather system expanding to the majority of the French Alps, a welcome change for a region that has so far lacked as much snow as the more easterly regions. This current weather system will move further south and east over the weekend, concentrating most of all around the most south-western resorts to deliver over 60cm south of Turin.
Beyond the Alps, our featured Scottish resorts have also seen moderate snowfall this week, with some resorts beginning operations, though conditions are as unpredictable as ever. The resorts along the Pyrenees are also seeing conditions change this weekend from current sunny skies to substantial snowfall beginning Friday, adding to their bases in time for imminent opening dates.
Based on current weather forecasts for the next 9 days, the top three resorts for expected snowfall are:
Zermatt, Switzerland- 103cm
La Grave- France -93cm
Bonneval Sur Arc -85cm
The last few days have served the Austrian resorts with substantial quantities of snow. A number of resorts have reported large dumps over the past couple of days and went into the 30th with more snow falling. Among those benefitting this snowfall were Hintertux (45/145cm), Kitzsteinhorn (50/210cm), Kaprun and Saalbach (35/60cm). Additionally, Kirchberg (4cm/70cm) and Damuls/Mellau (10/90cm) enjoyed 15cm and 20cm respectively.
Over the next few days a number of resorts will be opening for the season including, St Anton (35/130cm), Lech and Zurs (50/110cm), Kuhtai (60/70cm), Loferer Alm (60cm), Schladming (10/70cm) and Soll (10/80cm).
Hopfgarten (15/80cm) is forecast to receive 15cm of fresh snow during the course of today.
The Snow will continue in most resorts forecasting cloudy and snowy conditions, over today and continuing tomorrow. Over the weekend the snow will continue into Saturday, while Sunday will eventually bring some sunshine.
A worthwhile amount of snow has fallen in France on the 30th November, having begun on the 29th, with falls up to 30cm over the two days, welcome news for France given the extent to which it has previously missed out on the best of the previous November storms. Though still limited to a handful of open resorts, most notably Espace Killy and Val Thorens (85/110cm), the snow’s gone some way to improving conditions for those opening over the weekend. These include parts of Chamonix (0/40cm) for weekend skiing, while Alpe d’Huez (30/50cm) and Isola 2000 (60/100cm) are beginning full operations, as well as expanded lift operations in Val d’Isere (47/75cm), with the connected ski area now offering a substantial 31 lifts.
This current cold front is expected to continue until at least until Saturday as it moves southward; by Sunday the most southerly French resorts can continue to expect to receive substantial snowfall, while those in the northern French Alps close to Lake Geneva will see the clouds move away and clear skies, a trend that should continue into the early part of next week.
Switzerland was shrouded in the cloud on Thursday 30th November, but the lack of visibility at many resorts was pleasingly accompanied with fresh snow has fallen in many areas.
As has been the case so far this season, Engleberg (35/290cm) continues to look very good for all round skiing, and received a further 40cm of snow to bolster its already impressive conditions up on the Titlis at around 3,000m.
On the Italian/Swiss border there was 10cm of fresh snow at Zermatt (5/60cm), now running 17 out of their 52 lifts. The off-piste remains best up high, but a heavy snowfall, expected to be around 37cm on Friday 31st, could lend a hand to powder hounds for a great weekend at the Matterhorn.
Snowfall is expected to tail off from Friday night and into the weekend, leaving party cloudy skies on Saturday, and hopefully bluebird conditions on Sunday 3rd December. Temperatures are predicted to stay low, which means the fresh snow from Friday should remain good for the duration of the weekend.
The eastern Italian resorts within the Dolomite region, especially those along the Austrian border, have seen mild snowfalls over the previous days however most resorts remain limited to one or two lifts. Cortina (20/50cm) offering some of the most expansive skiing with 4 lifts serving 11 runs.
In the Western Alps, conditions remain largely unchanged over the previous days, with very low temperatures and clear skies, though still only a small number of resorts open. Among those that are open, Val Senales (10/100cm) is running five lifts serving six pistes, while Cervinia (5/130cm) is offering a slightly reduced seven lifts over eight runs.
Though the Italian resorts have yet to benefit from the most recent snowfalls (with the exception of the Dolomite resorts), this looks to change. The end of this week should see increasing cloud, and snow is likely to begin to fall, beginning to come down substantially over Friday and most heavily on Saturday. The South Westerly Italian resorts are currently predicted to receive some of the most significant snowfalls of the whole Alps including ski areas such as the Milky Way.
There is currently no skiing at any of our featured Andorran resorts.
In the Finnish resorts, the weather was overcast with the weekend forecasting some fresh snow, which will go a long way to help the snow conditions. Levi (50cm) is forecast to have over 6cm of fresh snow. Yllas (50cm) are also forecast to have fresh snowfall of 9cm during the course of the weekend. ‘¨’¨Over in the Norwegian resorts, there has been a mixed spectrum, with the northern resort of Oppdal (40cm) and the eastern resort of Trysil ( 45cm)~experiencing more sunshine and less snow fall. The central resorts such as Geilo (5cm/50cm) and Hemsedal (66cm) are forecasting more fresh snow.~ However this is set to change around, as Oppdal is forecast to have over 17cm of fresh snow over the course of the weekend, and the central resorts are forecast to have more settled weather and more sun. ‘¨’¨Both Swedish resorts had considerable snow over the past couple of days with Are (31cm) getting 10cm overnight and Salen (10cm/45cm) 15cm yesterday. Are is forecasting over 15cm of fresh snow this weekend.
Fresh snow continues to fall on Germany, allowing the resorts to improve their bases, though the majority are yet to open until the weekend of the 2nd December. Conditions in Spitzingsee (40/85cm), in particular, have improved over recent days with a good dusting of fresh snow. Though the most substantial period of snowfall is set to end by the end of the 30th, cloud cover and potential for light snow looks to linger at least for the coming days, accompanied by a welcome increase in temperatures
Christmas came early for Kranjska Gora (40/60cm), who received a whopping 35cm in the last 24 hours. Powder skiing is on offer on the upper slopes for the time being, and 4/20 lifts were spinning on Thursday 30th November. In Slovakia, Jasna (20cm) continues to operate at weekends only at the time being, while over in Bulgaria, none of our featured resorts are yet to open for the season.
Great news, as the ski season in Scotland has now begun. On Thursday 30th November, operations were limited to 3 lifts at Glencoe (25/40cm), and 3 groomed runs running from the funicular at Cairngorm (20/40cm), but The Lecht (15/25cm) is also hoping to open on Friday 30th; subject to road conditions. Near Fort William, Nevis Range (20/35cm) is currently under annual maintenance, and the Gondola will reopen on the 21st December
This marks a really positive start to the season for Scottish resorts. Though the most substantial period of snowfall is set to end by the end of the 30th, cloud cover and potential for light snow looks to linger at least for the coming days.
Canadian resorts continue to offer exceptional early season conditions, with almost all our featured resorts having experienced light to moderate snowfall overnight heading into the 30th November. This continues a trend of consistent overnight dumps, yet without the bitterly low temperatures that often accompany this. Among those, Lake Louise (89/141cm) continues to offer truly exceptional conditions given they are only three weeks into their season; with Sunshine Village (113cm) also offering fresh snow riding opportunities.
In British Columbia, Whistler’s (136cm), conditions continue to justify its reputation with 50cm predicted over the next 72 hours to build on an already substantial base and likely some of the best skiing available in the world right now. Elsewhere, resorts such as Kicking Horse (129cm) and Big White (100cm) are also consistently receiving overnight falls of up to 10cm, each gradually adding to their bases and expanding the offering of good early season riding.~
This consistent snow is likely to continue until Saturday, with many resorts expected to receive new snow every day until then; after which conditions across the resorts change as clouds give way to sun and dropping temperatures. The longer-range forecasts show this to continue for much of the rest of the week.
Niseko (50/160cm) continues to offer the best skiing of our three resorts in Japan. 5cm fell overnight for the resort, and looking into next week there seems no sign on the snow letting up. At Hakuba (95/120cm) the weather was cloudy and foggy, and snow cover is getting thin on lower slopes. Conditions at Rusutsu (50/90cm) are fresh, thanks to ongoing snow flurries.